The aim of this manual is to explain, in a simple and clear way, the edition of “Content Templates” for Blackboard. With this guide, step by
step, you will be able to design (or modify) the course basic information, activities calendar, and bibliography.
Each of the sections of this manual is illustrated with pictures to help you edit more practically and easily, either at work or at home. You will also be able to consult it as much as you need in order to achieve your objective.
Finally, as an act in favor of the environment and attempting to preserve it, we urge you to always read this manual from your computer and try to avoid printing it.
And we hope you find useful this manual Since it was done especially for you
Cintia Hernández López
1. Welcome. 2
2. Preparing the space to save. 4
3. Extracting the templates. 5
4. Template editing.
a. Course information: knowing the contents
Putting links to the templates
7 10 16
b. Activities calendar: knowing the contents
Designing the activities calendar (“Index”)
Putting links to the templates
22 23 28 29
c. Bibliography: knowing the contents
Putting links to the templates
32 33 39
Preparing the space to save
The very first thing to do is to save the template (compressed or zipped files) in an assigned folder that can be easily localized. Example: Create a new folder and name it “Templates BB”. Here is where the templates will be saved (either compressed or not):
Extracting the templates
Once all the files have been saved in a secure and easy to remember place, they must be decompressed and saved in the same folder.
In order to decompress the files, right-click on one of the compressed folders and choose the option “Extract All” or “Extract files” Next, a window will appear. Here, the location of the extracted files is
asked; leave it as it is. Just unmark the option below: “Show extracted
files when complete”, and click on “Extract”. It is possible that your
computer could extract automatically the files.
When all the folders have been extracted, now you can delete the zipped folders (the ones you
received. In the end, the most important thing is that there are two folders
with the same name (one is a compressed or zipped folder and the other one is a normal folder). Repeat this process of
Course information: knowing the contents
Among the folders we have, the most important and with which we
will work the most is the one titled “info_del_curso”. The contents of this folder are:
The first two folders (“banners” and “Botones”) contain the images
and buttons used in the templates.
REMEMBER: The contents of these two folders must not be edited,
moved, or deleted, since it may cause an unexpected change in the final result.
Moreover, the files titled “Index” and “Menu” should not be edited
too. However, we will constantly open them.
The third folder, “imágenes”, is there for you to put all the images
that you wish to appear on your templates. It is important that you save your images in a JPG format so it is easier to access them later.
Remember: If you put your images in a different location, they may
The files from “Bienvenida” through “Politicas” are the templates that will be edited and uploaded to Blackboard. In the previous image, the files appear with the Google Chrome logo (the web browser), it depends on which browser you use as predefined (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, etc).
opens after double-clicking on the template “Index”.
As you can see, this template also includes the menu (in the top part) and when clicking on any button, it leads to a different template:
“Bienvenida”, “Intenciones educativas”, etc.
However, the information that will appear on Blackboard still needs to be added.
We will constantly open the template titled Index in order to observe the changes; but we will never edit it directly.
It is important to note that when opening any of the templates (except for Index and Menu), the contents without the menu will be
shown. The only way to see the contents of the templates and the menu, at the upper part, is through “Index”. Thus, in order to open all the templates, it is recommended to use “Index”, and by clicking on the buttons of the menu, open the different templates.
1. Remember:There are two templates that should
never be edited (since this could change the
It is necessary to use a special program to edit the templates; it can be any of these two: Microsoft Expression Web or Microsoft Sharepoint
Designer. The first thing to do is to choose the template to work on, and then right-click on it. Example:
After this, the program will start. This program allows us to modify the contents of the template chosen. Each template contains instructions about what to add or write on each space, you just have to follow these instructions.
When right-clicking on “Bienvenida” a menu will appear; then click on “Open with” and choose the editor
1. As the image shows, the templates have special spaces for you to put images. To insert an image, first you have to erase the text with the instructions. Then click on the button “Insert”, then “Picture”, and “From File…” (as shown in the next page)
Important: All the images that will be added must have been saved in the “Imágenes” folder previously.
After this, a window will appear for you to search for the desired image. You should go to the images folder as we have already stated.
Remember: All the images that will be used must be saved at the folder titled “Imagenes”.
Once the image was chosen, it will appear on the template; there you can change its size.
IMPORTANT: At the bottom of each template there is a gray stripe as the next image shows:
As it can be seen, the year is not updated; therefore, it is necessary to change it to the actual year. This change must be done on every template that will be edited.
Once you are satisfied with the contents of this template you may save and go on with the next one.
When you click in this button, a window will pop-up asking you to save the changes; click on Accept in order to save and see the preview:
DONE!!! The template is now finished and ready.
The changes done to the template are now open in an Internet window; this is how your students will visualize the template when accessing Blackboard. If you wish to continue making modifications to the template, just close this window and keep on editing; if you have concluded the modifications, then just close the window and go for the next template to edit.
The rest of the templates can be edited in the same way. Each one contains specifications and instructions for you to add the right information and images in the given spaces. In this way, the templates that you can now edit are: “Bienvenida”, “Intenciones”,
Putting links to the templates
1. The template “Contenidos” asks you to
include the link to the analytic program of your course.
2. To do this, first, open the preview of this template (by clicking on the “Preview” button). Once the Internet window is open, click on the given link where you should look for the analytic program.
3. You will be led to a different web page. After this, click on “Planes de Estudio”, then “Preparatoria” or “Profesional”, depending on your course.
4. Once you have found the plan of your course, you just have to copy the link (URL) of that page. Close the window and go to the template “Contenidos”.
5. On the specified space, write the name of the course.
Then erase the instructions and select the name of the course you have written, right-click it and choose the option “Hyperlink…”
The window that will appear will ask you to specify the direction of the link. On the space named “Adress” paste the link you had copied from your course plan:
After this, the rest of the edition of this template is simple. You just have to write the contents of the course in the chart, divided in modules and topics.
just double-clicking over it):
Activities calendar: knowing the contents
From here, we have officially concluded the edition of the course contents. Now we will proceed to the course calendar where all the
activities are contained.
First, we must leave the folder “info_del_curso” and ge tinto the other folder titled “calendario_actividades” (remember to access the
one that is unzipped):
We will start working only with the contents of this folder.
As you can see, there are some folders and templates similar to the ones from “indo_del_curso”.
REMEBER: The contents of the folders “banners” y “botones” will not be modified nor edited.
Exception: Here we also have a template named “Index”; however, in this case, it does have to be edited.
The template titled “Actividad” is a mold for you to create all the activities templates that you wish to implement.
Now that we have an idea of what the contents of this folder are, we can start the design and edition of the activities.
As we already know, the template “Actividad” works as a pattern for us to create the different activities upon it.
The first thing to do is to change the name of this template so we do not confuse it with the other templates in the future. Just right-click
over it and choose “Rename”. We can name it “Mold”, “Pattern”, or whichever name you prefer; the idea is that you can identify it easily:
After this, we will start editing this template by opening it with Expression Web (or Sharepoint Designer). As in the past templates, this one also has instructions you should follow in order to edit it correctly.
1. Before doing anything, read all the instructions and make sure you understand them.
2. Important: At the bottom part you will find 3 different icons, each one corresponding to the ways the activities can be done: Individually, by pairs, or in groups. Depending on how you wish to organize the activity, choose the suitable icon for your activity and
After deleting all the instructions and filling the space with your own instructions for your first activity, you have to correct the date at the bottom part, like in the other templates.
Next, we will save this template as a new file (remember that we started working on the mold template, and we can to keep it without changes so we can use it for the rest of the activities). For this, go to “File” and then choose “Save as…”
Example: Save as “Activity 1”, as you create more activities, it is recommended that you give them names that follow an order: Activity
“calendario_actividades” (the uncompressed one), right where the mold template is. Remember to give it an appropriate name.
4. Once the template is saved, you may close it.
5. If you check the folder where we are working, you will see that there is the activity template we have just created; besides, the mold
template is still there, unchanged.
In this same way, you can design and save the rest of the activities you have planned for your course.
REMEMBER: In order to save the next activities, click on “File”, then “Save as…”, look for the folder where all the activities will be saved
Designing the activities calendar (“Index”)
Once all the activities are done, the next thing to do is to create the activities calendar from which the students will access all these activities.
To do this, first we must open the template named “Index” through Expression Web (or Sharepoint Designer).
Exception: Only this “Index” can be edited (the ones for “info_del_curso” and “bibliografia” will not be edited).
This template contains a chart where you will organize all your activities by modules, weeks, and dates.
It is not necessary that you use the entire chart you are given, if your course has fewer modules, just erase the remaining spaces. In the column titled “Module” you shall add the names of all the modules from your course.
The next column shows the week in which the activities will be done; as you can see, it is already numbered, so you do not have to do anything.
At the “Date” section, you have to write the date(s) for each activity.
Next, write the titles of the activities, divided by modules. It is recommended that you follow the example given in the template. Finally, write a brief description for each activity, with general instructions for the students.
Putting links to the templates
Once this is done, we must now create links for each
activity, so that when the student clicks on the title of each activity, they are led to the contents of each activity.
After all the chart is complete, select the title of the first activity.
Then right-click on it, and choose the option
A window will appear. Here you will search the template of the activity that corresponds to the title chosen.
At the left part of this window, first choose “Existing File
or Web Page”, and then choose “Current Folder”. As you will see, the templates of the activities you have done will appear; choose the one that corresponds to this link, in this case it is “Actividad 1-1”. Finally, click on Accept.
After this, the title we had selected will appear in blue letters; this means the hyperlink was created correctly.
To make sure this is true, check the preview of this calendar (just as we had done with the other templates to check the changes).
REMEMBER: In order to see the preview of a
template, just click on the button “Preview” and click on Accept after being asked to save the changes
Once this is done, your Internet explorer will open the activities calendar with all the changes you have done up to now. As you will see the title of the first activity will contain a hyperlink. If you click on it, you will be led to the template of the activity.
As we did for this first activity, you shall put hyperlinks to each activity in your calendar.
Once you have finished putting the links, you may
save the changes and close the calendar template.
Bibliography: knowing the contents
We will now work on the last part of your course, the
bibliography. When opening the folder titled “bibliografia” (remember to open the unzipped one) you will find the same
three folders: “banners”, “botones” (we will not touch these
two), and “imagenes” (here you should store the images of the
covers of the books for your course).
The templates named “Index” and “Menu” will not be edited in
this case, since this may provoke the loss of the predefined
structure for this section.
The template “Bibliografia” contains the names of the books
that you wish to suggest to your students, besides some other complementary references.
The template “sitios” contains the links to the electronic
We will start designing the template with all the
bibliographic references. For this, open the template
“bibliografia” with the Expression Web.
REMEMBER: Write your references following the APA or
REMEMBER: To insert an image, go to the space given for the image and erase the text. Then click on “Insert”, then “Picture”, and “From File…”
Look for the image you want to insert.
Finally, for the other bibliographic references section, just write the name of each reference, according to the instructions given in the template.
After completing this, you shall save and close this template and go on the next part, the edition of the electronic references.
For this, open (with Expression Web) the template named “sitios”.
As you will see, there are some virtual references already, these are the basic relevant references that every course must have, so leave them untouched.
In order to put a new reference, just go to the space given and erase the instructions. Then write the name of the web page you want to add and a brief reference of it.
After this, we will insert a hyperlink to this title, so when the students click on it, the will open the web page.
After this, a window will appear. On the space of “Adress”, paste the URL (link) of the webpage corresponding to the title.
If you wish to add more references, you will have to create a new space for them. To do this, you have to locate the mouse at the end of the last reference (in this case it is the one we have just added)
After this, a new space below the last reference will be created.
The last thing to do is to copy and paste the icon.
have been previously saved in the images folder)
Once you have finished adding all the references that you wish, you can save and closet he template.
In order to check the final result, double click on the template “Index” (to open it with the Internet explorer).
The bibliography will appear with your explorer:
As you will see, when clicking on any of the links, they direct you to the corresponding pages. Furthermore, at the top part there is a